Rare Bodé on eBay

Gosh Wow! Bode cover
Saw this on eBay last week, a Vaughn Bodé cover I’d not seen before on the front of a convention magazine from St. Louis in 1969, it ended up going for over $70. From another seller but possibly from inside of issue #1 of the same magazine was this 4 page strip entitled The St. Louis Bug.

St. Louis Bug cover
St Louis Bug pg3 4St Louis Bug pg2

Posted in Comics. | No Comments | Tags:

The Groovy Record Fayre 2

GRF Jonny Trunk
The second Groovy Record Fayre, hosted by Jonny Trunk and Ian Shirley, took place on Saturday at the Mildmay Club on Newington Green, N16 and again, it was a blast. Pete Williams and I had a stall again and many friends and faces passed by. It was celeb central at points, from superstar DJs to stand up comedians and supermodel it girls. I missed a chance to chat to Stewart Lee who was looking through the Krautrock box because I was explaining what Go-Go and cut up mixes were to a younger buyer but Lee wasn’t buying anyway.

GRF Pete stall
Pete with our stall, notice my Wheels of Light book placed in prime position bottom left.

GRF Alan Gubby
Pete sleevefaces with Buried Treasure’s Alan Gubby

GRF Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs digs

GRF Mr Thing
Marc Mr Thing journeyed up from Hastings for the day

GRF Paul Putner
Paul Putner bought my book shock!

GRF Pete Karminskys
A right pair of tits, and Martin & James of The Karminsky Experience Inc.

GRF Richard Norris
Richard Norris also picked up my book and Children of the Stones (like everyone else)

GRF Ronan Philippe
Rat Records mini reunion with Ronan and Philippe

GRF SavX
Comix legend Edwin Savage Pencil Pouncey bought six of my underground comix, a true seal of approval.

GRF Simon Tony
Pop quiz winner (later on) Simon Gitter with smooth dancer and pop quiz secret weapon 2 Tone Tony.

GRF Martin Jarvis
Everyone was packed up and out of the hall by 6pm and people disappeared for dinner. Around 7.30 the pop quiz kicked off and 90 minutes later the team Jonny Trunk happened to be on claimed victory to cries of ‘fix!, fix!’. The fact that there was a 10 point Trunk section might have helped. Martin Green and Jarvis took to the stage as tables and chairs were cleared in record time, the glitter ball ignited and the bar besieged. Much drink was drunk and dancing had until 1am with a packed dancefloor and singalongs to Plastic Bertrand, Bowie, The Beatles, Adam & The Ants, The Sweet, Prince, Double Dee & Steinski, Beastie Boys, Sparks, B-52s and so many more.

GRF Party crowd

Meanwhile in the toilets, Alex Chung had other things on her mind…

Alexa whats my best side

No Mixcloud Select archive mix this week – a new one!

TTE 2 cover
Due to being crazily busy this week, not least having to sort a set out for a friend’s wedding on Friday (playing AND taking my decks – this is a real rarity) I’ve not had time to prepare a show this week. But! I did drop a new mix on Sunday for Matt ‘King Megatrip’ King‘s new kickstarter.

Long time listeners to Solid Steel will know the name King Megatrip from back in the 00’s, he was one of the first collectors of old shows online, provided the occasional guest mix and used to send us spoken word samples on CDRs back in the day, culled from old films and records that he would religiously record and edit down. These started as discs with 99 entries as that was the most ‘tracks’ you could fit on a disc and each one had its own cover, track list and number. Slowly the ‘Soundbank’, as it came to be known, grew in size to the point where it was 200 volumes, each track-indexed with the basic premise of the sample and compiled on a DVD. I still use it to this day and Matt has threatened to share a new 200 volume follow up some day.

c22cb5f6-a201-1454-8830-c27442e375ab

He’s been slightly distracted however by his Tales To Enlighten project – the first was a 200 page graphic novel detailing the son of Satan and his robot consort, Manfred’s adventures trying to gain enlightenment. He successfully Kickstarted that last year and it was a blast. Now, the sequel – Tales To Enlighten: The New Testament – is here and it’s a whopping 550 pages with 30 artists and a ton more content. He’s aiming to get $20k which means the whole book will cost just $52 once printed – a bargain – and as of writing he’s already got $17k of it after nearly 2 weeks. Help him out if you want a ton of indie/underground comix full of sex, drugs, violence and blasphemy hitting your doorstep (or just to use as a doorstop) soon. If you fancy pledging then head over to the Kickstarter page, there’s loads of different levels and goodies on offer with extra zines, T-shirts and even original artwork.

To try and help drum up some publicity and as a good excuse to fit a new set of funky religious psychedelia together I constructed Songs of Revelation: Further Religious Rock & Spiritual Spoken Word for him a few weeks back, a follow up to last year’s Songs To Enlighten mix.

Track list:
Reformation – In The Beginning
Otis Skillings – A World Mixed Up
Reformation – Reformation ’71
John E. Schroeder & Richard Koehneke – Doors Are For Locking (excerpt)
Truth of Truths – John The Baptist
The Continental Singers – Step Up, Sit Down
Truth of Truths – The Trial
John Rydgren – Cantata Of New Life (excerpts)
The Crimson Bridge – First Suite by Gary Rand (1st movement Searching For Reality)
W. Cleon Shonsen – The Hippy Psalm (Instant Insanity Drugs excerpt)
John E. Schroeder & Richard Koehneke – The Best Tombs In Life Are Free (excerpt 1)
Kent Schneider – The Church Is Within Us, O Lord
The Crimson Bridge – Birthright
John Rydgren – The Lord Is My Shepherd (New Life spot)
Reformation – Let There Be Light
John E. Schroeder & Richard Koehneke – The Best Tombs In Life Are Free (excerpt 2)
Otis Skillings – Love Can Work A Miracle (edit)
Katarzyna Gartner – Kyrie (excerpt 1 edit)
U.S. Apple Corps – Don’t Do Me Nothing
Peter Link & C.C. Courtney – Deadalus
Katarzyna Gartner – Kyrie (excerpt 2)
The Mission – A Feeling

Tales To Enlighten Kickstarter mix – Songs of Revelation

DJ Food - Songs of Revelation cover
Matt King and James Edward Clark‘s Tales To Enlighten: The New Testament (the follow up to last year’s debut, Tales To Enlighten) went live on Kickstarter on September 1st and has so far racked up over $15k of the $20k needed to print and distribute the 550 page monster they’ve created.
Everybody’s favourite serial killing Satanists are back! A 550-page Occult Anthology featuring 30 amazing indie artists. HELL YEAH! Join their cult and push this huge collection of underground artists and writers into print. Pledge here

c22cb5f6-a201-1454-8830-c27442e375ab

Like last time, Matt aka King Megatrip – long time Solid Steel fan and contributor – asked me to put together a religious-themed mix set to help promote the book and the new set is titled ‘Songs of Revelation’. An hour of Religious Rock and Spiritual Spoken word, largely taken from the 60s and 70s when flower power and rock operas infiltrated the church and was co-opted to spread the word of the Lord. Who says the Devil has all the best tunes? There are also more mixes coming, including one that already dropped from Top The Cat – go to the King Megatrip page to hear more including my previous mix https://megatrip-power-hour.fireside.fm/

Matt King’s Tales To Enlighten: (The New Testament) Kickstarter is go!

TTE 2 cover
You may remember the original Tales To Enlighten comic my friend King Megatrip made with James Edward Clark last year? Well, the sequel Tales To Enlighten: (The New Testament) is launching on Kickstarter today.

Screen Shot 2022-09-01 at 01.19.18
Everybody’s favourite serial killing Satanists are back! A 550-page Occult Anthology featuring 30 amazing indie artists. HELL YEAH! Pledge here

KEV6web

Kickstarter projects are generally quite expensive for what you’re getting, right? Wrong on this count, this book is $52, about £45 but less than 10c a page, sure there’s shipping on top but you’re not going to find many deals like that. The talent on show is international in scope with a few Brits including Shaky Kane and Jason Atomic. There are a load of tiers with extra zines, T-shirt and bookmarks and even original art. I’ve done a little promo mix to try and help Matt (I’m sure he won’t need it) – Tales of Revelation – Further Religious Rock Opera & Spiritual Spoken Word which goes online soon.

KEV5 web

KEV12 web

There’s a great interview with Matt over on Daniel Moler’s Psychonaut Sessions podcast, talking about the books and showing off a ton or art from the new one

AI-generated comics, Dave McKean and Carson Grubaugh

McKean Prompt

“A few weeks ago having digested the implications of image creation AI, I decided I could either retire or respond. Here’s my response; a 96-page book of graphic shorts stories created in 12 days. Available at the end of July.” ~ Dave McKean

I’ve been very interested in, and using, AI-generated images since the turn of the year although I’ve not made a big deal out of it or posted much of the work in the way you’ll be seeing it on social media. It’s a fascinating and extremely powerful way of image creating which throws up all sorts of questions of ownership, copyright infringement and such. It’s a huge deal that will see an obvious visual shift across various mediums and another tool in the box of many creatives.
Rian Hughes and I have been trading thoughts and images on this back and forth and he highlighted another comic that purports to be the first of its kind with imagery generated entirely by AI algorithm by Carson Grubaugh. A four issue book due for release in October this year, ‘Abolition of Man’ was generated by lines taken from the C.S.Lewis book of the same name. It looks like it’s set to be beaten to the punch by McKean and, ironically, many of the images inside bear a strong resemblance to his regular non-AI-generated work.

STL240251

Posted in Art, Comics, Design, Robots. | No Comments | Tags: ,

2000AD Comic Rock Sci-Fi Special

2000ADSS22 cover
Another bucket list item ticked: I’m featured in the 2000adcomic Comic Rock Sci-fi Special this year as it has a music theme. Alongside some esteemed company like Mark Moore, Riz (Neotropic) Maslen, Geoff Barrow, Scott Ian and William Potter (looking forward to his Geezer comic soon). Been a fan since I was 8 years old, still read it every week, they missed a trick by not having the cover tagline ‘Prog Rock’ though.

2000ADSS22 spread 1

2000ADSS22 spread 2

Grant Morrison – In Xanaduum collage comic

Xana pg1
I don’t know if anyone is following Grant Morrison‘s Substack but, amongst the titbits of commentary on past characters he’d written, (Superman, Green Lantern etc. yaaawwn…) he’s been posting bits of a new collage comic he’s creating called ‘In Xanaduum…’. It’s rough and ready but I have an interest in collage and comics so it’s interesting to me, it’s a 24-parter apparently, here are the first 5 pages. There are various tiers you can subscribe to, paying and not paying, these are from the unpaid tier so already out there for all to see, you can see more here, he’s quite prolific.
Xana pg2

Xana pg3

Xana pg4

Xana pg5

He’s also posted a full comic he wrote and drew in his youth for Starblazer which is great to see for its youthful charm. I love the level of detail on this page below.
https---bucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com-public-images-a6ad0949-c58d-4dcf-8d8e-02c5d111f0f2_2295x3256

Garry Leach RIP

GL VCs Lest We Forget
Another amazing artist gone, RIP Garry Leach, loved his VCs artwork in 2000AD as well as his Zirk and Miracleman for Warrior, hugely underrated and a lovely guy the couple of times our paths crossed.

GL vcGL Mortis GL VCs 1

Posted in 2000ad, Art, Comics. | No Comments |

Howard The Duck graffiti originals

02 Seen Pjay, 1980

Reading some original Howard The Duck comics the other day I came across the original sources for classic NYC graffiti pieces that have been embedded in my brain since seeing the Subway Art / Spraycan Art books back in the 80’s. The Seen / PJay wholecar piece above is probably the first train I ever saw painted as it was part of a magazine review for the book I discovered on holiday in the summer of 1984. This led me to trying to draw my own designs and eventually seek out the book for the bigger picture. I’d never seen lettering like this but was immediately drawn to it and wanted to know more, from then on I wrote graffiti for the rest of the 80s, only stopping when I moved to London in 1990.

The duck on the right seems to be taken from the panel below on the left from issue 2 of the original 1977 run of Howard The Duck, later adapted with added cigar for the top left corner on certain covers. The hat is missing on the train version, possibly due to space, it’s not an exact copy but this is the nearest image I can find and you try painting something 8 ft high in the dark whilst hanging off a train in the freezing cold and getting it spot on. Seen was a master of characters, using many Marvel, DC, Disney and underground comic creations like Cheech Wizard in his pieces.

HTD issue 2

ClassicSeen HowardThe duck on the left of the car is much closer to the original source and obviously comes from the cover of the Marvel Team Up issue of Spiderman and Howard seen below. Seen recently underwent heart surgery and is currently resting until given the all clear to go back to painting, something he seems to do 24/7, regularly selling canvases and prints out in minutes. I very much hope he makes it through and can carry on where he left off, he’s one of the greats and hugely influential, one of the Godfathers of the whole graffiti scene.

LMarvel Team Up 096-00fc

Another classic featuring Howard was by Lee Quinones and covered a whole basketball court in 1980 with the original being swiped from the cover of HTD #20.web-CooperLeeHandballScreen Shot 2022-03-19 at 23.30.20

2021

Sample City cropAfter ending on a bummer in the final hours of 2020 as MF Doom‘s death emerged on social media, we awoke to the news on January 1st of The KLF re-entering the music industry via Spotify and YouTube with remastered material in the form of the first of five compilations. By Jan 6th though any hopes of a better year were dashed, despite the historic swing for the Democrats in the Senate and Congress, with the scenes at Capitol Hill and 1k daily deaths reported in the UK. No surprises on Trump‘s acquittal after the second impeachment hearing in February either.

Surprise of the year was that the UK’s vaccination programme rolled out fast and with few hitches – amazing what can happen when you don’t pump billions into untested private companies and instead let a trusted national institution handle it. I won’t go on, it was pretty much downhill from there and some of those promised KLF albums are still yet to emerge.

Anyway, as is usual on Dec 31st, here are some favourites from the last 12 months in no particular order. There’s been an avalanche of amazing music and art again this year, some coming out of the lockdown months, let’s hope it continues and the virus eases up in 2022. Please check out and support these artists if you like their work, Bandcamp is an excellent way to put a large chunk of money straight in musicians and label’s pockets and buying a print, T-shirt or piece of merch at a gig really helps too. Even a share or piece of positive feedback on someone’s post can give them a boost to know that people are watching or listening out there and they’re not shouting into the void.

LPs 2021

Music:
Concretism – The Concretism Archive Vol.1 LP (CiS Subs Library)
Steve Roach – Tomorrow LP (Behind The Sky)
Snow Palms – Land Waves LP (Village Green)
Jane Weaver – Flock LP (Fire Records)
Stereolab – Switched On vol.4 LP (Warp/Duophonic)
Robert Fripp – Music for Quiet Moments (DGM)
DJ Format – Devil’s Workshop LP
Trevor Jackson – Underdog 1993-1998 radio mix (NTS)
The Hauntologists – Tales From The Scary Magic Field 7″ (Bandcamp)
Various Artists – BLE-EP 12″ (Yellow Machines)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Butterfly 3000 LP (Flightless)
CAVS – CAVS 12″ (PHC)
Various Artists – Infected Machinery EP 12″ (Downfall Recordings)
The Nevermen – Treat ‘Em Right (Boards of Canada remix) DL (Lex)
Vanishing Twin – Ookii Gekkou LP (Fire Records)
Jay Glass Dubs – Jungle Shuffle 12″ (The Wormhole)
Brian Eno – The Lighthouse (Sonos HD)
Regal Worm – The Hideous Goblink LP (Quatermass)
Ternion Sound – Dovetail (Kursa remix) 12″ (Next Level)

Podcasts 2021

Podcasts:
Chris Atkins – A Bit of a Stretch (Apple podcasts)
The Alexei Sayle Podcast
Martyn Ware – Electronically Yours
Ed Piskor / Jim Rugg – Cartoonist Kayfabe (YouTube)
Stephen Coates – The Bureau of Lost Culture
We Buy Records (Apple podcasts)
Matt Black – Pirate TV (Twitch/FB/YouTube)
The Bunker/Culture Bunker (Acast)
The Adam Buxton Podcast (Acast)

Events 2021

Gigs / Events:
Vanishing Twin – Pensiero Magico live stream Jan 20th
Alice In Wonderland @ The V&A Museum, London
Savage Pencil @ OrbitalSpace, London
Eno @ Paul Stolper Gallery, London
The Light Surgeons ‘Atemporal’ @ Iklectik, London
Funki Porcini @ Common Ground, Coventry
The The’s Comeback Special premier @ Troxy Cinema, London
Jonny Trunk’s Groovy Record Fayre @ Mildmay Club, London
Vanishing Twin @ Kings Place, London
Levitation Festival, @ Flowergate Hall, Whitby
People Like Us – Gone, Gone Beyond @The Pit Theatre, Barbican, London
Pye Corner Audio @ State 51, London
Anicka Yi – Aerobes @ Tate Modern, London

Cover Designs 2021.2

Design / Packaging:
Hattie Cooke – The Sleepers LP (Spun Out of Control) by Eric Adrian Lee
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – live bootlegs series LP (Fuzz Club)
Krashslaughter feat. Phil Most Chill – Rebel Base 7″
Sync 24 – Inside The Microbeat LP (Cultivated Electronics) by Will Barras
Une – Spomenik LP (Spun Out Of Control) by Eric Adrian Lee
Cos – Mix LP (Finders Keepers) by Andy Votel
Castles In Space Subscription Library series LPs (Castles In Space) by Nick Taylor + more
The Third Man Records shop in Soho, London
Pepe Deluxe – The Phantom Cabinet vol.1 LP (Catskills) by Vilunki/James Spectrum
Thundercat – The Golden Age of Apocalypse 10th anniversary edition (Brainfeeder)
The Zen Delay (Ninja Tune / Erica Synths)
Roger Webb – Shadows of Fear 7″ (Trunk) by Julian House
Kingston University Stylophone Orchestra – Stylophonika (Spun Out Of Control) by Eric Adrian Lee
Brian Eno’s turntable

Comics 2021

Books / Magazines / Comics:
Rain Like Hammers – Brandon Graham (Image)
Breaking Open The Head – Daniel Pinchbeck
Bedroom Beats & B-Sides – Laurent Fintoni (Velocity Press)
Decorum – Jonathan Hickman & Mike Huddleston (Image)
Ultramega – James Harren (Skybound/Image)
Anatomie Narrative – Samplerman
The Black Locomotive – Rian Hughes (Picador)
Cruisin’ with the Hound – Spain Rodriguez (Fantagraphics)
Kane & Able – Shaky Kane & Krent Able (Image)
Tales To Enlighten – Matt King & James Edward Clark (Kickstarter)
The Out – Dan Abnett & Mark Harrison (2000AD)
Electronic Sound magazine
99 Balls Pond Road – Julie Drower (Scrudge Books)

Artists 2021
Artists:

Savant
RX Skulls
Pablo Fiasco
Donk
ZombieSqueegee
Karoline Rerrie
.EPOD
FiftySevenDesign
Minty
Stinkfish
Perspicereartist
Tamar Cohen
Hoxxoh
Lovepusher
Artyom Trakhanov
Prentler
Soda
Smitheone
Raymond Lemstra

Film /TV:
Bathtubs Over Broadway (Netflix)
Wandavision (Disney+)
Dead Pixels (Ch 4)
Grayson’s Art Club (Ch 4)
Sisters With Transistors – Lisa Rovener (BFI)
Loki (Disney+)
What We Do In The Shadows Season 3 (BBC2)
Martha: A Picture Story (Projector Films)
Records – Alan Zweig (TVO)
Big Mouth (Adult Swim)
The Book of Boba Fett (Disney+)

Work 2021

Another year over and what have I done?
A second mix of religious rock for Megatrip‘s ‘Tales To Enlighten’ comic kickstarter
Stuck 300 foil covers to 300 LP sleeves for The New Obsolescents album on Castles In Space which ended up selling out in 25 minutes and went for a repress.
Finally finished the design and packaging for The Real Tuesday Weld‘s ‘Blood’ and ‘Tape Dust Memories’ releases, the first in a trilogy as Stephen Coates winds up his recording project.
Released the Celestial Mechanic LP on Utter with music by Saron Hughes and myself and design by Rian Hughes
Appeared on the Big Mouth, We Buy Records, Sleevenote‘s Under The Covers, KTMusic Online and Bureau of Lost Culture podcasts, had guest mixes featured on the Jonny Cuba & Friends and 45 Live shows
Released the Kaleidoscope/Companion reissue 4xLP on Ninja Tune subsidiary Ahead Of Our Time
Designed the Lo Recordings’ 100th edition library album for a limited edition lathe cut LP
Started the Openmindesign Instagram account for current designs and archive ephemera
Continued the DJ Food Mixcloud Select weekly upload series
Saw designs for Steven Rutter, Amon Tobin, Clocolan and Humanoid released on De:tuned, Ninja Tune, FSOL Digital and Castles In Space
Written the forward for a book about light show picture wheels for Four Corners Books
Remixed The The’s ‘Global Eyes’ for The Comeback Special live box set
Designed a Janko Nilovic & Yeti On the Pads 7″ sleeve
Collaborated with Imeus Designs on a second book of Forgotten Graphics Command LP sleeves
Edited hours worth of Pirate TV audio visual broadcasts for Matt Black
Remodelled my Quadraphon turntable for live performance
Oversaw the repressed New Obsolescents LP with screen printed black prism board
Contributed the singles column to MU magazine each issue
Designed a Hey Duggee zoetrope LP for the BBC
Designed a 25th anniversary Stealth T-shirt for 1 of 100
Mixed a preview CD of Touched Music‘s ‘Project OO’‘DJ Food’s Oona Selecta’
Designed a 3rd fold out Xmas card, ‘Solstice Songs for The Real Tuesday Weld
Finished my Cineolascape mix for The The, due for release in 2022

RIP: Phil Spector, Larry King, Ricky Powell, Double K (PUTS), S. Clay Wilson, Chick Corea, Victor G. Ambrus, Frank Thorne, Lou Ottens, Orbital Comics, Malcolm Cecil, Shock G, James Prigoff, Captain Rock, Ken Garland, Eric Carle, Gift of Gab, Peter Zinovieff, Jon Hassell, Peter Rehberg, Chuck Close, Charlie Watts, Lee Scratch Perry, Sir Clive Sinclair, Richard H. Kirk, Alan Hawkshaw, Orbital Comics, Lionel Blair, Andrew Barker, Mick Rock, Alvin Lucier, Robbie Shakespear, Chris Achilleos, Michael Nesmith, Richard Rogers, Desmond Tutu, Janice Long,

New Year’s resolution: Use less black in my work

Looking forward to:
The return of Saga comic
The Soundcarriers‘ new album, ‘Wilds’
King Gizzard remix album
A mixer to complete my Quadraphon set up
Collaborations…
EpoDJFood teaser

Tales To Enlighten – finally here and it’s a monster!

TTE cover My copy of Matt King and James Edward Clark‘s ‘Tales To Enlighten’ arrived from the US this week (for more context see here). I’m lost for words at how good this is, comic of 2021 for me for sure – and yes I am biased, but after the years this has been in production they’ve pulled it off and then some. The story is insane (definitely NSFW), the pin up gallery is huge and the quality off the scale. Matt King may be more familiar to Solid Steel fans as King Megatrip who made several guest mixes for the show and was one of the biggest and earliest collectors of tapes from it.

TTE pin up1TTE inside cover TTE pin up2 TTE pin up3 TTE pin up4 TTE prentler TTE shaky

The attention to detail with fake ads, in-jokes and other myth-enhancing material is spot on and the print quality, superb. This is a huge book, 300+ pages and I look forward to diving right in after reading an early PDF copy last year. It has the spirit of underground comix but with the next few decades of comics knowledge thrown in and some serious art chops. I’m also thrilled to have a couple of spots in the book including a genuine endorsement on the back cover (unbeknownst to me, cribbed from an email to Matt after I’d seen the PDF).

TTE back quote TTE mixes
The mixtape cover of religious music to help the Kickstarter along (they didn’t need it, it got funded in six hours!) is also featured in the back. I’ve uploaded the mix to my Mixcloud so it’s easier to find.

TTE mixtapesI’m so pleased for the whole crew after hearing about it for literally years and being teased to the point where I was going, ‘just put the damn thing out!’. There’s a volume 2 in the works too…

TTE thanks 2TTE thanks

East Village Other covers pt.2 – Underground Comix edition

p15932coll8_56807_full More pages from the Wisconsin Historical Society G.I. Press Collection of The East Village Other papers I came across, all scanned in high res, (much higher than here). As the 60s heading to a close The Other started featuring a selection of the underground cartoonists of the day, namely Robert Crumb, Vaughn Bodé, Susan Morris, Spain Rodriguez, Kim Dietch and Charles Francis Winans. As well as striking covers, several artists did comic strip ads for Douglas Records and a lot of this art – save for some of the Crumb works – I’ve never seen reprinted elsewhere before.

p15932coll8_56856_full p15932coll8_56892_full p15932coll8_56916_full p15932coll8_56937_full p15932coll8_56986_full p15932coll8_57014_full p15932coll8_57065_full p15932coll8_57096_full p15932coll8_84583_full p15932coll8_84584_full p15932coll8_84603_full p15932coll8_84612_full p15932coll8_84635_full p15932coll8_84688_full p15932coll8_84711_full p15932coll8_84731_full

Del Close documentary

There’s a documentary about Del Close coming this month to Apple TV, which combines comedy and comics and looks fantastic. Diggers will know Close’s name from the John Brent & Del Close classic ‘How To Speak Hip’ (sampled by me and plenty of others) as well as ‘The Do-It-Yourself Psychoanalyst’s Kit’ (plundered for a whole album by Prince Paul). Close was, by all accounts, an unhinged madman/genius who hung out with The Merry Pranksters in the 60s and taught all the future comedy greats in the 70’s and 80’s. There’s not been much written about him aside from a couple of biographies and he’s probably best known for his involvement in Saturday Night Live. Check the trailer and hunt down those records and copies of the Wasteland comics.

Delclose poster

Posted in Comics, Film. | No Comments | Tags:

Loki title graphics and design

Marvel‘s new TV series, Loki, started this week on Disney+ and the title animation and design is fantastic, playing on ever-changing fonts, presumably to highlight the different facets and sides to the main character’s personality. Marvel have had some superior title work going on with both Wandavision and Falcon & The Winter Soldier recently, the former having individual, time-specific intro themes created for each episode. With Loki, this has stepped up a gear.

*slight spoiler alert!!* In the debut episode that appears to be a set up for a time travel chase caper where Loki may be both the good and bad guy, most of the ‘action’ is spent inside the TVA, a processing centre / court for those who disrupt The Sacred Timeline. The whole design of the Time Variance Authority has shades of Terry Gilliam‘s ‘Brazil’, with retro-modern tech, yellow tungsten lighting and 50’s styled public info posters adorning the walls.

TVA room TVA room 3 TVA room2TVA lift TVA console TVA console 2
TVA poster 1TVA poster 3+4TVA Miss Minutes

One of the highlights is a short animation, voiced by TVA mascot Miss Minutes, explaining what the agency does – for the audience’s benefit as much as Loki’s. It’s beautifully realised in what starts out as an 80’s Ulysses 31 homage before slipping into a 50s style similar to Charley Harper or some of the Halas and Batchelor cartoons like ‘Automania 2000’.

TVA film1 TVA film2 TVA film3 TVA film4 TVA film5 TVA film6 TVA film7 TVA film8
The TVA identity is nearer a 60’s/70’s airline / IBM look with employees wearing enamel badges, belt buckles and uniforms bearing the insignia as well as using headed notepaper and retro tech. Just like the work they do, design timelines seem to converge from different eras at the Authority.

TVA badge TVA scanner
But the icing on the cake is the end credits, beautiful short focus close ups of many of the production details yet with contemporary typography details that you’ll miss if you blink. Everything is saturated but sepia-tinged for that nicotine-stained, low lighting look. Forgive me such a graphic-heavy post but this is all so tastefully done, so many great details like the clock with multiple hands.

Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.11.30 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.11.49 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.12.04 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.12.17 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.12.47 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.14.20 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.14.40 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.15.44 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.18.37 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.18.56 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.19.44 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.20.07 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.20.23 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.20.47 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.21.42 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.22.20 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.22.40 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.22.51 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.23.06 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.23.47 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.24.07 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.24.19 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.25.00 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.25.12 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.25.30 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.25.55 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.26.30 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.27.06 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.27.44 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.28.14 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.29.33 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.29.52 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.30.14 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.30.30 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.30.50 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.31.13 Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.31.46

Posted in Comics, Design, Film. | 1 Comment | Tags: , ,

Unofficial Zap comics

ZAP 0 UK issue
Above is an extremely rare UK version of Zap Comics no.0 that is currently on sale on eBay – there’s virtually no info on this anywhere on the web but there it is. There’s a version of Zap no.1 from the UK but this edition of #0 never comes up. Look at the 2/6 price too, that dates it, below is a retooled top half of an inside page that fits with the country of origin better than the original featured below. Below that is the original, full colour cover on all the American printings.

Zap 0 Brit inside
Zap 0 US ed Zap 0

Below is another bootleg, no publisher, possibly a German 2nd edition but of which issue I’ve no idea and no other info on this one. These versions may be a result of an agreement with publishers back in the 60s and 70s whereby all comic material printed by the underground press was allowed to be reprinted in different countries or states.
UPDATE: Here’s one with a colour cover too, same country of origin.
Knockabout ComicsTony Bennett talks a bit about this in the recent podcast I took part in, The Bureau of Lost Culture, where we talk about his adventures in alternative culture publishing from the 70s onwards.

Zap Ed.2

Zap 1 German colour cover

UPDATE: – this one doesn’t actually exist but I couldn’t resist adding it – by Marcatti (Brazil)

Zappa comix
And here’s Jim Rugg‘s variant cover for Ed Piskor‘s Red Room #5 Red Room Jim Rugg variant

The Bureau of Lost Culture: The Comix Underground with Tony Bennett

1835756-knockabout_4
I had the absolute pleasure to spend an afternoon recently at Soho Radio with Stephen Coates and special guest Tony Bennett, the founder of Knockabout Comics  – underground and alternative publisher since 1975. We chat to Tony about his history in the counter culture, publishing some of the greats of the genre from Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Alan Moore, Hunt Emerson and more including his run-ins with the law, customs officers and trials for obscenity.

10102534._UY630_SR1200,630_ c2d1f3f53cafb9c5695e80451e8084f2_xl tempest-6-coloured-coverFFFBros

It’s hard to think of another publisher who has done more in the underground comics medium in the UK and Tony was a delight to chat to. He bought along a whole pile of books for Stephen and I including a copy of his very first self-published and very hard to find comic, Trip Strip from the early 70s. Pictured above are just a handful of the comics Knockabout have printed and distributed over the years – for more check their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/knockaboutcomics/

Trip Strip